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delete files of the laptop so that it cannot be receovered

Posted on 2008-06-10
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
i wish to delete my personal files from my laptop.
is there any software or any other way so that it cannot be recovered .
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Question by:tomar_10
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by:Share-IT
Share-IT earned 100 total points
ID: 21749972
Google "Safe Delete" or suchlike and you'll find loads of tools.

Here's one for instance. http://www.downloadjunction.com/product/software/69104/index.html
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by:jimtech
ID: 21749991
There are tons of software to do this on the market, I personally would recommend Norton's Government Wipe which goes through the process of deleting 7 times to be sure there is not a trace of anything left on the hard drive that can be recovered.
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TheCobraSnake earned 200 total points
ID: 21750038
There are indeed a lot of free programs available on the net.

This is freeware, so nothing to be paid ;-)

http://www.softdd.com/no-file-recovery/
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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 100 total points
ID: 21750701
I would recommend Active KillDisk http://www.killdisk.com/, which meets DoD 5220.22-M requirements.  Delete unwanted files and then run the Wipe facility.
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by:souseran
souseran earned 100 total points
ID: 21755629
Eraser. Freeware. Uses the Guttmann (Default), Pseudorandom Data and US DoD 5220-22.M methods.

http://www.heidi.ie/node/6

If you want to completely wipe the drive, DBAN. Freeware.

http://dban.sourceforge.net

Create media from the .ISO. Boot to the media. At the prompt, type AUTONUKE. Walk away. When the black screen with the wipe results appears, you are ready to start from scratch with the drive.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 21759228
All of these solutions are good but bear in mind they leave you with a competely blank drive. You will have to reinstall your OS and all your software if you intend to use the drive again.
.
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by:Callandor
ID: 21761587
>All of these solutions are good but bear in mind they leave you with a competely blank drive.

Not quite.  You can use the Wipe feature of KillDisk on the unused portion of your drive, so running it after erasing unwanted files should do the job.
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by:souseran
ID: 21762170
>All of these solutions are good but bear in mind they leave you with a competely blank drive.

No. Eraser only wipes files or free space.

DBAN *will* "leave you with a completely blank drive." Eraser won't.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 21765428
> No. Eraser only wipes files or free space. <

Not according to their web page.
There might be some feature that wipes selected areas but it there is that method wouldn't be fully DoD 5220-22.M or Guttmann compliant.

I only mentioned it so the asker was aware everything might go *poof* if not careful.
-
No one mentioned that little detail and it's important if the asker has never done this before.

.
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by:souseran
ID: 21765551
> Not according to their web page. <

According to their web site, there is more than "some feature that wipes selected areas." If you look at the Eraser Features, each of those lines represents a different capability within the program. That list does *not* mean that it is going to do *all* those things every time anyone uses it.

Eraser works with Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP (32/64),Vista (32/64), Windows Server 2003 and DOS.  It works with any drive including IDE, SCSI and RAID, and CD-RW's.

Among other things it:

1. Uses the Guttmann (Default), Pseudorandom Data and US DoD 5220-22.M methods.
2. Erases Files and Folders.
3. Erases Files/Folders that were only previously 'deleted'.

It can also erase "all hard drives using 'Darik's Boot and Nuke' method."

The tool *will* work for what the asker needs here. As someone who actually uses it, I can say that it's as easy as having them right-click on the files or folders they want to delete and selecting Erase from the Context menu. It's not guess-work and if the program is used with nothing more than the default settings, *nothing* is going to "go *poof*" except for the specific files or folders the user wants gone.

I never "mentioned that little detail" because, as someone who actually *uses* the program rather than someone who appears to be only reading about it, I can attest to the fact that there is *no* "little detail" to be taken into consideration here. With DBAN, yes, absolutely. With Eraser, no.

I invite and encourage you to actually *use* the program before making recommendations or suggestions about what it does/doesn't do and how it does/doesn't work.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 21767716
Perhaps you should go read what the Guttmann and DoD 5220-22.M  standards are.
They don't allow 'partially' wiping a hard drive.
They don't allow it because it's not considered secure.
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Thanks but I'll stick to secure methods.
.
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by:souseran
ID: 21768384
tomar_10,

If you want something that is not a software solution, try drive slagging:

http://driveslag.eecue.com/

Be advised that this will totally destroy the hard drive as well as any files, etc. The drive will not be usable, and you will need to replace the drive and start over with a brand new one. However, your files will be deleted in such a way as to be unrecoverable.

PCBONEZ,

Per Guttman himself:

In the time since this paper was published, some people have treated the 35-pass overwrite technique described in it more as a kind of voodoo incantation to banish evil spirits than the result of a technical analysis of drive encoding techniques. As a result, they advocate applying the voodoo to PRML and EPRML drives even though it will have no more effect than a simple scrubbing with random data. In fact performing the full 35-pass overwrite is pointless for any drive since it targets a blend of scenarios involving all types of (normally-used) encoding technology, which covers everything back to 30+-year-old MFM methods (if you don't understand that statement, re-read the paper). If you're using a drive which uses encoding technology X, you only need to perform the passes specific to X, and you never need to perform all 35 passes. For any modern PRML/EPRML drive, a few passes of random scrubbing is the best you can do. As the paper says, "A good scrubbing with random data will do about as well as can be expected". This was true in 1996, and is still true now.

I'll stick with Eraser.

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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 21768989
"A good scrubbing with random data"
~IS~
Wiping the ~WHOLE DRIVE~ with random data.
- So thanks for illustrating and proving my point.

You don't understand what you are reading but go ahead and do whatever gives you a warm fuzzy.

.
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by:Callandor
ID: 21769151
I don't think it is necessary to be a purist about this.  Most people do not have classified information on their hard drives that is worth millions of dollars and is worth using a scanning electron microscope on, nor do they need to spend inordinate efforts to secure a hard drive.  In the end, if one is paranoid about data security, one shouldn't let the drive be reused and just destroy it.  Otherwise, there is a level of "good enough" that is sufficient for most people, and we don't have to nitpick about it.  We're not talking about national security here, are we?
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 21769423
Only the asker knows how much security is needed.

I don't think that warning to the asker that these programs will wipe the entire drive could be considered nitpicking. It's rather important.
The "this one doesn't" program does in fact also do that if used wrong.
That's also rather important.

.
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by:Callandor
ID: 21769599
Well, that's a caveat I would say applies to any operation that could format your drive, modify partitions, or encrypt files and folders.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 21769649
Agreed but the asker didn't ask about those.
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